In order to ensure maintenance of set standard for schools in Lagos state as it pertains curtailment of the spread of Coronavirus among students, the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Education,Tuesday commenced visitation to selected schools in the state to ensure strict compliance of COVID-19 guidelines among SS3 students writing the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The Committee was led on the visit, scheduled to last two weeks, by its Chairman, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu representing Agege Constituency 2.
Ogundimu informed the schools visited that the purpose of the visit was to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state by ensuring that the schools complied with the guidelines for the prevention of the spread of the Pandemic during the WASSCE exams.
Part of the observation of the committee in most of the schools visited was that the bags of the students were packed together instead of being spaced, while they were writing the examination.
Some of the things the committee looked out for were physical distancing in the sitting arrangement of the students, toilets facilities and adherence to COVID-19 precautionary measures .
The committee kickstarted his visit at the Secretariat of the State, Education District 1 in Agege headed by the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary of the District, Mrs. Titilayo Solarin.
Ogundimu, who said that the committee was not satisfied with the level of compliance with COVID-19 protocols in the district office, said that the staff should have shown a good example for others.
According to him, we observed that there was only one hand washing basin in the premises for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, we must wash our hands regularly and sanitize our hands to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Charity should begin at home.
“We are not satisfied with what we saw here and we should all know that COVID-9 is not a child’s play and we have to learn to live with it for now.
“There is no how we can be in the office premises and not use our personal safety equipment. Your office should be what others should copy. May be some schools will be closed today if we notice that they do not comply with the protocols. Their performances will be part of your assessment as a district,” he said.
Schools visited by the Committee included: Diary Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege, Government Senior College, Iyana Ipaja, Girls Senior High School, Iyana Ipaja, Lagooz Schools in Orile Agege, Vetland Grammar School and Ifako International School, Ifako/Ijaiye.
At Dairy Farm Secondary School, Agege, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu commended the school authority for spacing the students and for ensuring the usage of face masks, and observed that the compound was clean.
The Committee was received by the Principal of the school, Mr. Samson Babatunde Ogunsolu.
At Government College, Iyana Ipaja, where 285 students were writing the exam, Hon. Ogundimu reiterated that the visit was meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that all the facilities for its prevention were in place.
They were received by the Vice Principal Academics of the school, Mr. Olorunmo Aliu.
The committee was received at Girls Senior High School, Iyana Ipaja, where 290 students were writing the examination, by the Principal, Mrs. Olamide Adewale.
Ogundimu told the Principal and the staff of the school that they wanted them to educate the students about COVID-19 protocols, which he said would be with us for a while, adding that we must learn to live with it and that this demanded some efforts.
At Sate Senior High School, Orile Agege, where 347 students were writing the examination, the principal, Mr. Lasisi Kolawole Soyobo said that the schools insisted on face masks and that their temperatures are checked before they are allowed into the school for the examination.
The committee chairman, however commended the school for the facilities on ground, and encouraged the management to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols and check the temperatures of the students regularly.
The committee also visited a private school in Orile Agege, Lagooz Schools, where they were received by the Proprietor, Mr. Yomi Otubela.
Mr. Otubela said that the temperature of the students and others coming into the school are taken at the gate and that there were six hand sanitizers in the school.
He said that the parents wait outside to pick their children, while an official would call out the students.
He said that they ensure the use of face masks and that some face masks were not convenient, which was why they called for surgical nose masks.
The students, he said don’t spend much hours in the school, while those who live far away stay in the school, adding that foods are not sold in the school now.
Responding after a visit round the school, Hon. Ogundimu expressed satisfaction with the facilities provided by the school.
“What we have seen here in terms of COVID-19 protocols is of a high standard, we hope to see this in other private schools in the state.
“The facilities are not just about COVID-19, we have seen a serene environment that is conducive for learning.
“What you have done here is a good example for others. Our intention is not a friendly visit, we want to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is reduced and we have seen what you have done here, we want you to do more.
“As a government, we want to copy you and this is a very good one,” he said.
The situation was different at Vetland Senior Grammar School, Ifako-Ijaiye, where a room is separated for isolation of any student, who contracts the virus.
While counseling the students, a member of the Committee, Hon. Desmond Elliot urged them not to spread the virus with their negligence, and avoid hugging their friends.
He also advised the principal of the School, Mrs. Taiwo Elizabeth to introduce whistle blower method to deal with students who might not want to comply with COVID-19 protocols.
Elliot said that COVID-19 is real and that he had lost a lot of his friends to the virus.
On his part, Ogundimu rated the school high in terms of compliance with COVID-19 protocols, but told the principal of the school to upgrade the standard of the isolation room.
The principal of the school later disclosed that the entire population of the school is 881 out of which 237 are SS3 students.